Posted by Nicole on October 13, 2014
Those who haven't dealt with seasonal discomfort
throughout their lives may be lulled into a false sense of security once the
Fall arrives. After all, the wild blooms of the Spring and Summer have long
since faded, and now is the time to watch the leaves turn, the weather grow
colder, and all of those irritating pollen-producers to take a break for a few
months and give us some peace.
Don't be fooled. Autumn brings one of the most menacing of
the bunch out into full bloom, and that menace has a name: Ragweed. But
what is ragweed, and why is it a Fall-specific irritant?
The Skinny on Ragweed
There are 17 different varieties of ragweed in North
America, and most experts say that 75% of people can potentially experience
seasonal discomfort when exposed to its pollen. Ragweed is a perennial that
grows over several months, and produces clouds of irritating pollen that can
travel for extreme distances-- some pollen has been found to travel for hundred
The good news is, if you regularly maintain your lawn, or
live in an area where there just aren't that many patches of ground for ragweed
to grow, it isn't going to be a concern locally. The bad news is that it will
still come from as far as outside of your own city, seemingly to torment those
who suffer from seasonal discomfort.
So what are some helpful tips on combating ragweed pollen?
- Wash your clothes (and body) regularly. As
with other types of pollen, ragweed can get into your home by hitching a ride
on clothing that you've worn throughout the day, your hair, or even your pets.
It may not bother you during transit, but once it's had time to get back into
the air, you will notice. Keep tidy as much as possible.
- Consider nasal rinses. Another way to
clear your body of any pollen is to use saline rinses in the nose, which come
with their own specific solutions and directions for proper use. Remember not
to use direct tap water for your nasal rinse; microorganisms can still pass
through your tap water, and thus your nose, and lead to an infection.
- Don't panic. If you're someone who
wrestles with more severe seasonal allergy symptoms, you may be tempted to lock
your doors, shut your windows, and wait it out. The truth is that maintaining
some fairly simple habits, such as those mentioned above, and others, such as
keeping track of pollen counts throughout the area, are good ways to keep your
seasonal discomfort from being too tough to tackle.
Ragweed pollen production should end around the middle to
end of October, depending on your local climate. That means that you only have
to contend with it for a few weeks before it's gone, at least for the moment.